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Pentagon investigates colonel over critical report on US progress in Afghanistan

The Pentagon has launched an investigation into an independent report written by an Army lieutenant colonel for possible security violations, military officials said Wednesday.

In an article published Sunday by the Armed Forces Journal titled "Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down," Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who spent a year in Afghanistan delivering equipment to U.S. forces, strongly suggests that military leaders are lying about progress in the war in Afghanistan.

“What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground,” he wrote in the article.

Davis wrote an 86-page report with the same title that he released to members of Congress. Pentagon officials said Davis released the report without informing Army officials.

Davis based his claim on 250 interviews with U.S. troops, Afghan security officials, Afghan civilians and several village elders who painted a bleaker picture about the mission.

Although senior military officials acknowledged that ground combat forces would likely have a different view on progress, they strongly denied claims that the military leadership is misleading the American public.

For example, Davis disputes congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and now CIA director, that progress in Afghanistan was "significant though fragile."

Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparotti, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Afghanistan, conceded Wednesday that the war is far from over and there is a "tough fight ahead," but he said there has been "significant" and "steady progress" over the past 18 months.

At the same time, however, the Pentagon is investigating whether Davis improperly released classified information in the report that he released to members of Congress.

Additionally, Pentagon and military officials claim that two years ago while he was stationed in Germany, Davis wrote a letter to Petraeus, advising Petraeus on how to fight and win a war against Iran. The officials say Davis also asked Petraeus to help him skip a rank and get promoted to brigadier general so he could help shape the strategy for a war against Iran.

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